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This neighbourhood is gettin’ Seedy!

We have placed our seed order, we have wrangled our seed-saving inventory and we are getting ready to do some planting.

It’s funny that I’ve lived so oblivious to season changes all my life. I mean, I think of the season changes as what clothes I can now wear or put away. Now my seasons mean very different things. This is my second year growing a vegetable garden. This is my second upcoming Spring with honeybees and I’m gearing up. Anticipating.

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This is our second year buying seeds from Salt Spring Seeds. Last year we purchased leek seeds, multi-hued quinoa and some other varieties that we were well-pleased with.

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We purchased our beans and peas last year from West Coast seeds. We also got to eat food that another farm ordered seeds from these guys so we’ve seen great results.

This year we’re keeping in mind what food we ate last year, what did well, what food we’d like to eat and what plants will be good bee food. With so many choices, we definitely have to prioritize. We’ll keep you posted as we make the final plans for our garden. Anything you’ve had particular success with or recommend we try growing? We’ve been looking for Jerusalem artichokes (or sunchokes) but so far, we’ve only found a seed company in New Brunswick that sells them. Any suggestions?

Any plants in your area that you noticed the bees were all over?

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Because those are the ones that I’ll want too! (Photo curtesy of West Coast seeds.)

เกมยิงปลาฟรีDirt Under the Fingernails Kinda’ Gal

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The warmth of the soil, or the black moistness of it, I’m not sure what it is, but just let me get my hands dirty! It is Easter Weekend and my gardening ambitions are in full-tilt.

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It was the first Farmer’s Market of the year yesterday. We went for mini donuts, Ewa’s cakes, Ellen’s goat cheese, Nettle Soup, Grimmer’s seeds, and a talk on pruning.

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After munching, we went back to Theresa’s and munched some more. And built raised beds. If I’ve learned anything from Theresa (And believe me, I’ve learned lots) it’s that she does not know the definition of “cannot.” Often I find it difficult to start because of the Cannot. Should not. Would not. She doesn’t suffer from this moment of doubt which leads me to quit before I’ve even started. She says instead, “Why not?” and then plows forward.

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Behold! Our bed is risen!

‘Tis Easter after all. What other things can we raise?

Whether the Weather be Fine

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There’s a little tongue twister from when I was a kid that I think of when people talk about the weather.

Whether the weather be fine

Whether the weather be not

Whether the weather be fair

Whether the weather be not

Whether the weather whatever

The weather, whether we like it or not.

I must be honest, conversation regarding weather bored me to no end. It’s the epitome of small talk or meaningless conversation. Now, don’t review every conversation we’ve ever had and wonder if I was rolling my eyes. My mother taught me better manners than that. But I just didn’t understand why people get sad when it’s rainy and happy when it’s sunny.

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…Until moving to Pender.

I’ve been out of touch with the world around me. As soon as I began obsessing about beekeeping, I watched the weather like a hawk. Above 10C means we can play with bees. Too much wind means no play-time. I watch the temperatures, perched on the edge of my seat. When it snows, I get a chill, thinking about the bees outside. Poor bees!

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This Spring I’ve been more aware of the weather than ever before. I’m waiting to get my seedlings in, to get my garden soil, to grow, to till, to plant so that I may harvest! Pender dear Pender, you have opened my eyes to the weather around me. Whether it be whatever it be, whether we like it or not.

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Creator Vs. Consumer

I often feel discouraged at our consumer lifestyle. Ok, on Pender I realize that I’m more removed from “consumerism” than most. I do not have a shopping mall, I do not have a sushi nook. I do not even have a shoe store. But still, I consume. I buy, I eat, I use, I wear out my clothes. I find this discouraging.

I would rather be a creator. I would rather grow things, make things, spin up the imagination and let er’ fly.

I bought “A Circle of Quiet” by Madeleine L’Engle at the TC book sale last month. I’ve been reading bits of it slowly. At the beginning she’s talking about teaching a class of teachers to teach children to be creative. (I know, triplicate use of the word “teach”) She says that one must remove “self” from conscious and then the imagination can flow. When you are conscious of self (self-conscious) then you have no freedom to create, to move, to dance, to sing. I love this thought. I’ve grabbed onto it with both hands.

Marc and I were in the grocery store getting food, (consuming) and he was dancing in the produce aisle. I ruined the moment by pointing out his glee. He became a little embarrassed. I pointed out his “self” to him and as if in a mirror, he turned away. I felt sad immediately after I’d done it. Then of course, he was defiant and wiggled away, dancing to music in his head. I did no permanent damage.

To spin the imagination up, and to create. This is a goal of mine. Before you all get carried away, I did not say Pro-Create. I said Create!

Behold, my creation!

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These are spinach and scarlet tomato heirloom seedlings. I’m so proud!

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These ones are onion and roma tomatoes. These tomatoes will be good for dehydrating, thus producing sun-dried tomatoes. They are a favourite on our pizzas.

Also, my garlic is coming up and making a real show of it. If you don’t tell the deer, I won’t either!

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Create Create Create! I’m trying…

The Nutritional Fairy

If only there was a fairy that could come along and deposit vitamins under your pillow at night, closely related to the tooth fairy. She would ensure that you were eating a balanced diet, or she would assign the tooth fairy as her hitman. But, as the obese people of North America exemplify, this is not the case.

I strive to eat healthy. I concoct all sorts of fooling devices to ensure that Marc eats healthy. I try not to go on diets (because I don’t have the self control for them.) and I try to do things in moderation. So what do you think about “Healthy Cookies?”

p31000132These cookies have everything BUT the kitchen sink. They are composed of whatever I have left after making granola. Now, I do not have a nutritional break down of these cookies, but I think the Fairy would approve.

I look forward to being able to make soup from veggies I grew. But for now, we’ll have to settle with heirloom organic lentil and rice mix from the store. Marc has a special talent with making good soups into? Miraculous Soups!

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To encourage ourselves with our store-bought soup we reconstituted, we took a drive to check on our seedlings. Note the one with leaves. They are not mine! Mine are the ones still sleeping under the black soil. Lesley’s seeds are a couple weeks ahead of mine so it gives mine courage to poke through their new world.

p3100015p3100017So as we cheer the seeds on, we dream. Wishing the seeds all the success and the snow to melt quickly. Thank you Fairy, for all the wisdom!